Friday, September 5, 2008
1ST Grade Transitions
Communication....such an essential word...such an essential tool. I read one time that being blind means that you miss a connection with objects and being deaf means that you miss a connection with people.
My oldest daughter is deaf. She has a cochlear implant, which gives her access to sound. She in fact, does very well with her implant, but she is still deaf. Her implant does not fix or correct her deafness (like glasses to a near or far sighted person), it aides her.
This year she is in first grade. She is mainstreamed into a regular 1st grade classroom. She was mainstreamed last year, and her teacher had taught deaf and hard of hearing children before, it was a good year. Totally different this year. We haven't had a full week of school yet (TS Fay, then Labor Day...next week is a teacher work day & who knows what Hurricane IKE will do to us), so it has been a little bit of an unusual start.
Her teacher is nice & experienced, but hasn't taught a hearing impaired child before. I expect she has some habits not exactly conducive to the environment my daughter needs (talking towards the board, giving directions over loud background noise). So, we use an interpreter & everyone is still in an adjustment period.
It has been a rough start though. Tears nearly everyday. I can't seem to get at the exact problem, no matter which way I try to COMMUNICATE with my daughter. I suspect it is a host of things.....a teacher who is more down to business & faster paced than she's used to, a separation from her best (also CI user) friend, new kids to meet, being different.
Yesterday, it was coming to a point where I was considering talking with her teacher. My sister gave me some new ideas to try. Wouldn't you know it, that day, my daughter brought home the weekly class room notes and it addressed transition issues. Apparently, we are not the only ones dealing with transition. And, for the first time, yesterday, she was in a good mood when she got off the bus...no tears.
I still think the situation warrants watching. Next week I will surprise her at lunch. I know it will make her happy & I want to see her interaction with her classmates.